Introduction to GMO basics

What are GMOs?

GMOs, or “genetically modified organisms,” are plants or animals created through the gene splicing techniques of biotechnology (also called genetic engineering, or GE). This experimental technology merges DNA from different species, creating unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and viral genes that cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding.

Virtually all commercial GMOs are engineered to withstand direct application of herbicide and/or to produce an insecticide. Despite biotech industry promises, none of the GMO traits currently on the market offer increased yield, drought tolerance, enhanced nutrition, or any other consumer benefit.

The majority of products Americans eat daily contain some form of GMO soy, corn, canola (rapeseed) oil or cotton seed oil.

Organic-GMOIn other words, as the plants grow up from the ground, they already contain genes from toxic concoctions, therefore helping corporations and their “cooperating” farmers maximize profits. Most developed nations do not consider GMOs to be safe, knowing there are not sufficient studies on the long term effects from this bio-engineering “guessing game,” and are boycotting American exports of major vegetables, dairy, and meat products for this specific reason.In nearly 50 countries around the world, including Australia, Japan, and all of the countries in the European Union, there are significant restrictions or outright bans on the production and sale of GMOs. In the U.S., the government has approved GMOs based on studies conducted by the same corporations that created them and profit from their sale. Increasingly, Americans are taking matters into their own hands and choosing to opt out of the GMO experiment.
[divider]

Are GMOs labeled?

Unfortunately, even though polls consistently show that a significant majority of Americans want to know if the food they’re purchasing contains GMOs, the powerful biotech lobby has succeeded in keeping this information from the public.

[box type=”shadow” align=”aligncenter” ]Consider this:
What if over half of all the food being sold in grocery stores contained pesticides that you couldn’t taste or smell, with no warnings on the labels, and then you got cancer from eating them after ten years?
Would anyone be crazy enough to do it, especially if it was FDA approved?[/box]

How common are GMOs?

gmo2More than 80% of all corn, soy and canola oil are GMO.

The bad news is in, and it may not be changing for quite awhile. GMO vegetables and all of their by-products are not labeled as GMO in the United States.

Currently, 93% of soy, canola and cottonseed oil, 86% of corn, 95% of sugar beets, 13% of squash, and rice is on the cutting board now.

As much as 77% of the world’s soy is GMO also. Think for a moment about all of the popular products that have some kind of processed soy or corn in them; it would take an entire book to list them all. GM potatoes and tomatoes have been taken off the market.
[divider]

What are the impacts of GMOs on the environment?

gmofruitOver 80% of all GMOs grown worldwide are engineered for herbicide tolerance. As a result, use of toxic herbicides like Roundup has increased 15 times since GMOs were introduced. GMO crops are also responsible for the emergence of “super weeds” and “super bugs:’ which can only be killed with ever more toxic poisons like 2,4-D (a major ingredient in Agent Orange).

GMOs are a direct extension of chemical agriculture, and are developed and sold by the world’s biggest chemical companies. The long-term impacts of GMOs are unknown, and once released into the environment these novel organisms cannot be recalled.

How can I avoid GMOs?

Eat only organic food from local farmers markets and health-food grocery stores. And if you say it’s more expensive, you’re wrong. Surgery and chemotherapy for stomach, kidney and colon cancer far exceed the price of non-GMO foods, drinks, candy and gum (and that’s with health insurance). Also, let your voice be heard about GMO labeling.

Resource | Nongmoproject

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